Translating Gay Identities in TV Series: Gayspeak and Camp Talk in Looking


Today, the representation of sexual and gender diversity cuts across all media (written, audiovisual, oral; radio, film or television; radio, film or television). Representations of LGBTQ+ people and characters, in their current quality and quantity, derive from historical processes marked by political events related to the social struggle of these marginalised groups. According to Yep and Russo (2016), three historical moments of representation of LGBTQ+ people in the US media can be identified: that of silence and invisibility; that of emerging visibility (from the 1970s onwards); and that of new visibility (initially from the second half of the 1990s). This paper deals with the Italian dubbing of the television series Looking, produced by HBO and originally aired between 2014 and 2016. Looking presents the story of three gay friends living in San Francisco, with an emphasis on their romantic relationships, but also on their journey towards emotional stability based on their age, their life plans and the social changes in a historically progressive city in terms of diverse sexualities. The series is characterised by the use of gayspeak and camp talk (Harvey, 1999; Pleguezuelos 2017), a style usually associated with the speech of homosexual men. The original and the Italian versions will be analysed to detect the main differences and the strategies used to translate camp talk and to represent the characters. From the early stages of the analysis of the proposed examples, we can demonstrate that the Italian version mainly resorts to strategies of naturalisation and recreation.

Author Information
Giulia Magazzù, University "Gabriele d’Annunzio" of Chieti-Pescara, Italy

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2023
Stream: Language

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon